Missouri Woman Accused of Driving Girl to Suicide Is Indicted in California

In a highly unusual use of a federal law generally employed in computer fraud cases, a federal grand jury here on Thursday indicted a Missouri woman accused of using a phony online identity to trick and taunt a 13-year-old girl, who committed suicide in response to the cyberbaiting.The woman, Lori Drew, was charged with one count of conspiracy and three counts of accessing a computer without authorization and via interstate commerce to obtain information to inflict emotional distress. Each count carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison.
http://nytimes.com/2008/05/16/us/16myspace.htmlWoman indicted in Missouri MySpace suicide case
A Missouri woman was indicted Thursday for her alleged role in perpetrating a hoax on the online social network MySpace against a 13-year-old neighbor who committed suicide.Lori Drew, 49, of suburban St. Louis, who allegedly helped create a MySpace account in the name of someone who didn’t exist to convince Megan Meier she was chatting with a 16-year-old boy named Josh Evans, was charged with conspiracy and fraudulently gaining access to someone else’s computer.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/05/15/AR2008051502443.htmlL.A. files ‘cyber bully’ charges against Missouri mother in connection with girl’s suicide
Invoking a criminal statute more commonly used to go after computer hackers or crooked government employees, federal prosecutors in Los Angeles on Thursday charged a Missouri mother with fraudulently creating a MySpace account and using it to “cyber-bully” a 13-year-old girl who later committed suicide.The girl, Megan Meier, hanged herself in her upstairs bedroom two years ago, shortly after being jilted by an Internet suitor she thought was a 16-year-old boy. The case caused a national furor when it was alleged that the “boy” was actually Lori Drew, the mother of one of Megan’s former friends.
http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-myspace16-2008may16,0,3642392.storyUS ‘cyber-bully’ mother indicted
A Missouri woman who allegedly used a fake MySpace profile to bully a girl who later committed suicide has been indicted by a federal Grand Jury.Lori Drew, 49, allegedly posed as a boy on the website to befriend Megan Meier, 13, who hanged herself after he broke off the virtual relationship.Ms Drew denies creating the profile on the social networking website and sending messages to Meier.She faces four charges, each carrying a maximum 5-year prison term.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/7403957.stmWoman Indicted In Cyber-Bully Suicide
Mo. Mom Allegedly Played Role In MySpace Hoax Played On Teen Girl Who Hanged HerselfA federal grand jury on Thursday indicted a woman for her alleged role in perpetrating a hoax on the online social network MySpace against a 13-year-old neighbor who later committed suicide.Lori Drew of St. Louis, Mo., allegedly helped create a false-identity MySpace account to contact Megan Meier, who thought she was chatting with a 16-year-old boy named Josh Evans. Josh didn’t exist.
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2008/05/15/tech/main4100052.shtmlWoman indicted in MySpace hoax suicide
A 49-year-old Missouri woman accused of pretending to be a love-struck teenage boy on MySpace and drove a 13-year-old girl to suicide with cruel messages was indicted on Thursday on federal charges.Prosecutors say Lori Drew and others created the fake MySpace persona of a 16-year-old boy to woo neighbour Megan Meier for several weeks, then abruptly ended the relationship and said the world would be better off without her.
http://uk.reuters.com/article/internetNews/idUKN1541585320080515Experts Say MySpace Suicide Indictment Sets ‘Scary’ Legal Precedent
In their eagerness to visit justice on a 49-year-old woman involved in the Megan Meier MySpace suicide tragedy, federal prosecutors in Los Angeles are resorting to a novel and dangerous interpretation of a decades-old computer crime law — potentially making a felon out of anybody who violates the terms of service of any website, experts say.”This is a novel and extreme reading of what [the law] prohibits,” says Jennifer Granick, civil liberties director at the Electronic Frontier Foundation. “To say that you’re violating a criminal law by registering to speak under a false name is highly problematic. It’s probably an unconstitutional reading of the statute.”

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